A kind of British Columbo many years before the American one.
This British B movie, one with important nautical elements in its plot, reminded me of an episode of Columbo. It's a tale of murder and detection where we know "who dunnit", and how the killer fixed himself the "perfect alibi", from the start.
Egged on by his greedy mistress, a middle aged man of what was once called "good breeding", kills his rich, termagant of a wife (who was expected to die, but is in recovery) for her money, and gives himself a seemingly unbreakable alibi. Initially the murder appears to have been the work of a burglar, but enter our hero, Inspector Walker, a short, not handsome or attractive police detective, who cleverly suspects the husband almost from the start, and sets about looking for the evidence to get him. Walker is a much more conventional type than Columbo, but still something of a maverick as an investigator (though he doesn't harass and irritate his suspects to death!) nor is he such an eccentric personality as Peter Falk's character, there are no real moments of Columbo reminiscent comedy in the portrayal. Unlike Columbo, Walker is often seen working with a police underling (the man playing that part resembling comic actor Edward Everett Horton!).
Elwyn Brook-Jones, whose appearance meant he often played villainous parts on screen, here gets a chance to be a good guy (sadly this distinctive actor died in 1962 aged only 50). Derek Bond (once a screen Nicholas Nickleby, whose career was on the slide by the time this movie was made) is the distinguished looking murderer. Nicole Maurey was a very attractive lady, but here she overacts at times as the grasping mistress - a character who is somewhat inconsistently written.
There is one completely risible scene where our detective escapes death in a way that stretches coincidence way beyond the even remotely plausible, but on the whole I quite enjoyed the film. The performance by Mr Brook-Jones interested me enough to find out more about this rather obscure character actor.
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